Emma Watson as Belle in Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio's classic animated film.

Jillian Kurtz

The Walt Disney Company has confirmed that 16 live-action movies are in various stages of production.

In 2010, Walt Disney Pictures released its first live action remake, “Alice in Wonderland.” This production’s revenue of $1.025 billion was more than likely the fuel that launched the series of live-action remakes that have come out in the last eight years.

The classic Disney movies will always be the basis of their brand, but being able to take those stories and expound upon them in interesting ways has brought in the attention of both old and new audiences. Star power has been another factor; by headlining the movies with prominent actors and actresses, such as Emma Watson (known for her role as Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” series) as Belle or Lily James (who most recently starred as a young Donna in “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”) as Cinderella, the productions bring a whole new audience to fill the theater seats.

Growing up, “Beauty and the Beast” was my favorite Disney movie. As a longtime fan, I was very reluctant to see how they recreated some of my favorite characters and story. The “Beauty and the Beast” remake was released on March 17, 2017. After watching the remake in theaters for the first time, I was not the biggest fan, as it did not live up to my expectations. However, Six months after its cinematic debut, “Beauty and the Beast” was released on Netflix, I watched it for the second time and had a better appreciation for the movie. It has its differences from the original, but maintains the spirit of the classic animated movie.

In 2017, “Beauty and the Beast” was the second top-grossing movie at the box office, topping “The Fate of the Furious” and Despicable Me 3” and was surpassed only by “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.” The remake was produced with a production budget of $160 million and made over $1.26 billion worldwide.

Following the release of “Beauty and the Beast,” the most recent Disney live action movie released on Aug. 3. “Christopher Robin” is a new take on the classic story of everyone’s favorite bear, Winnie the Pooh. Once again, Disney was able to take one of their original stories and create a different but lovable live-action sequel. The well-known name was carried over with a production budget of $75 million and earned $190 million internationally.

Some of the biggest names in the Disney company such as “Dumbo,” “Mulan,” “Aladdin,” and “The Lion King” are slated to have live-action remakes released in the upcoming years. With names as well known as these are, there is no doubt in my mind that they will soar to the top of the box office.

By reimagining these classics, Disney has landed an approach that is both practical and nostalgic: millions of fans, both young and old, will flock to theaters to ignite the child’s spark that has become Disney’s trademark. Disney’s “Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” a reimagining of the classical holiday ballet, comes out in theaters today, Nov. 2.


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